I don’t really think it’s unreasonable that a lot of photographers out there aren’t entirely savvy about all aspects of technology. Take me for instance: I can barely figure out all that @soandso and #britneyspears. If you use Twitter, you’ll know what I mean. If not, then you’re lost with me.
So here I am writing a painfully simple introduction to preparing your images for viewing on the internet and the 4 top ways I accomplish this.
Why do anything to your photos before uploading them to your blog? File size is a big reason. Full-sized images can be 4,000 pixels wide (their eyeball will take up your screen at that size) and uploading it will take dog’s years, use up precious space on your account and when viewers view it, it won’t pop up instantly on their screen. It will take a few seconds to download. So that’s reason one. Reason two is that if someone was so inclined to swipe your image, they could steal it at the original size and do pretty much whatever they want. Not a huge likelihood, but lots of people are concerned about that sort of thing.
A treatment you can add to your images is sharpening for the screen to enhance the look of your image on a computer screen. Not to be used for printing, but very useful for Facebook (FB sucks by the way – they take resolution down to a detestable bare minimum).
Here are four ways I prepare my images for the internet depending on my mood
The first way I can format photos is in Photo Shop. Click file —> save for web. It then brings up the panel you see to the right. The main controls you want to mess with are the two I circled. One chooses what resolution you want them to be saved as and the other changes the size. 800px wide is a pretty good internet size. Make sure you click apply or else it won’t actually do the resizing. Keep your eye under the image. The original one on the left tells you the size of the original image in mb and on the right shows you the size you’re changing it to and that fluctuates depending on the resolution you choose up there in red circle 1.
The next way I resize is in Lightroom. After choosing to export, this screen pops up. You can scroll down to decide what size to export to and even do some sharpening for the screen. Note: The next time you export, these will still apply. So make a habit of scrolling through the export properties every time you export unless you want to mess something up.
My all time favourite way of resizing my images is by using blog-it templates from The Album Cafe. They are ingenious little templates you very simply open, drag your image into the layers, drag the corner of your image in to resize it and then type ctrl+g to clip it in. It automatically resizes your image to around 800px and finishes it off with an adorable frame perfect for your blog.
The last way to do a very quick resize on a MAC is with the preview function. When you’re in finder and you open an image, go to tools —> adjust size and this screen pops up (see above). You simply change it according to pixel size or percent and click ok. Then you can save or save as and there you have resized an image in about 5 seconds.
So there you have it: four ways to do one job. Couldn’t be easier.